Surrey Docks Farm’s Management Committee
The Farm is managed by a voluntary committee who are elected from and by Surrey Docks Farm Provident Society Members at the Annual General Meeting.
For more information about the Provident Society and to apply to become a member find out more here. The next AGM will be held on Thursday 17th October 2019.
We currently have ten Management Committe Members, who bring a variety of skills and knowledge to the Farm. Find out more about them below.
Brett Bennett-Smith, Chair
Brett is a management consultant with 12+ years’ experience in strategic IT programme delivery, specifically CRM (Client Relationship Management) in the financial services for corporations in project management and business analysis roles, with a CIM Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing & an MSc in Computer Science. Brett has been in voluntary committee roles since university.
Brett has lived in Rotherhithe since 2006 and is passionate about the local area and community values. Brett became involved with Surrey Docks Farm in early 2013 where he joined as the farm’s Secretary after wishing to volunteer for the farm, but in a way that did not mean having to always be on site when working away from home. Brett became the Chair in September 2015. Brett enjoys helping the farm through working with the council through necessary legal administration, supporting the fairs through managing the bar (always a busy spot!) and typical duties that comes with the role of Chair.
Jolin Holme, Treasurer
Jolin popped in to the Farm while out for a run in 2010 and saw a small notice asking for a Treasurer: “As an accountant and program manager I thought my skills might suit and many grey hairs later I’m still proud to be helping and guiding our small finance team and management committee.”
Andrew is a senior commercial manager, currently responsible for the UK commercial operations of one of the worlds largest Audio companies. For the last 12 years he has worked in various senior commercial and procurement positions at a number of FTSE 100 companies. He volunteers with several local charitable organisations and is well known in the local area, working hard to ensure the community thrives.
Growing up in rural Lincolnshire and training as a chef, Andrew has always felt the importance of good animal husbandry, field to plate eating and responsible farming. Surrey Docks Farm gives him the ability to help ensure that these lessons are taught to a community that would otherwise struggle to experience them first hand.
Andrew has lived in Bermondsey since 2007 and has three young children who visit the Farm regularly. It was during one of these visits that Andrew realised he wanted to get more involved and put his skills to good use in the management and continued success of the Farm, ensuring it thrives for many years to come.
Alan spent all his spare time while at Secondary school on a nearby farm in Essex. He trained in Agricultural Engineering, then Agriculture then teaching. Alan taught in farm colleges in Zambia and Suffolk and spent other years in Africa serving small farmers, especially with ox and donkey power. The Salmon Youth Centre brought him to Bermondsey in 1985 when Alan began to appreciate Surrey Docks Farm as a place for relaxation. A spell in Africa intervened, but grand-child care brought Alan and his wife back here, and Anne’s been volunteering with New Leaf project ever since. Alan joined the Management Committee in 2007 and was Chair for 5 years.
Rosemary worked for sixteen years as cabin crew, opened a delicatessen and outside catering business, and lived in Egypt And Venezuela. When returning home she and her husband moved to Rotherhithe in 2001 and worked for a few years in Canary Wharf.
While strolling through the Farm one day she met Barry Mason who was manager at the time, and began volunteering, working on his admin.
Rosemary has seen so many changes in the Farm, and the recent work on the Tower very exciting. She loves working in the shop, giving her opinion on the management committee and being involved in a very important part of the community.
Matthew is a partner at law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. He is Head of Planning in London and has more than 20 years of experience advising public and private sector organisations on all aspects of planning and development law. Matthew is a Legal Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Trustee of the Architecture Foundation. He lives with his wife and three children in Camberwell and loves everything that south London has to offer. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys cycling, travel, photography and The Archers.
Savie Musendo was born and bred in Zimbabwe in Chimanimani rural village where folks get their livelihoods from subsistence farming.This meant a bit of all types of farming. Growing crops, mainly maize and beans, keeping goats, chickens, turkeys and pigs and keeping banana, orange, avocado and naartjie orchards. It was a rich childhood and her parents are still subsistence farmers. She got to know about Surrey Docks Farm and could not resist that connection with her rural roots which she is very much proud and fond of. She just feels so much refreshed when she visits any kind of farm. She hopes to give back to the London community by being involed in what happens at Surrey Docks Farm. She is an accountant by training and a mother of two wonderful teenage boys.
Roland Neal, Secretary
Roland Neal lives only a stones throw away from the farm and is a frequent visitor with his family of two children who love all the multitude of activities that the farm has to offer. His children also visit the farm on trips with their school (Redriff Primary). Outside of work Roland has an active interest in foraging for edible and medicinal plants, food preserving, curing and fermentation, smoking (food) and also co-led a workshop at the farm on foraging and preserving. Academically Roland trained as a physicist and has a career in high tech manufacturing of equipment such as superconducting magnets and high power lasers. Currently he is Operations Director for an international company based in Canary Wharf starting up manufacturing of high end x-ray cameras.
Mary Budd has been involved with the farm for the last decade, mainly as a member of the MC. She is a freelance HR consultant, advising companies on everything to do with people from employment law to management development. She has also spent many years in various NHS Non-Exec roles in London and Sussex. In her spare time she creates quilts, which raise money at farm fairs. She has two grandchildren who are passionate fans of the goats.
The committee were looking for another member with animal welfare background it was a really easy decision to enquire, city farms are invaluable places for communities and for city children connecting people with animals and Surrey Dock has a wonderful reputation.
I have worked in a hospital nursing special care babies and children but moved into the animal industry on completing my degree. I worked in a zoo in Austraila as a presenter also nursing orphaned and sick animals, but on returning to England, I found a passion in sheep farming and working a sheepdog. I do seasonal contract shepherding for large commercial farms and am on the East Anglian Sheepdog Society Committee. My full time job at Capel Manor College as the Animal Collections Manager, managing two zoos, one city farm and another animal collection in London combines both zoo and farming industry, as well as being able to impact the future generation in the importance of animal welfare.